The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted the Uttar Pradesh government two weeks time to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL), which sought direction for a CBI inquiry into all the major riots that have taken place in the State after the Samajwadi Party came to power.

A Division Bench of Justices Imtiyaz Murtuza and Arvind Kumar Tripathi-II passed the order after Additional Advocate General Bulbul Godiyal, appearing on behalf of the State, sought two weeks time to seek instructions and file a response. The Court also directed Ms. Godiyal to apprise it of the position of related writs on communal riots filed in the Supreme Court and Allahabad Bench.

In her petition, filed on September 11, Lucknow based social activist Nutan Thakur sought direction for a CBI inquiry into all major communal riots that have taken place in the State since March 15. Dr. Thakur also prayed that the ambit of the Justice Sahai commission, which was constituted by the State to probe the Muzaffarnagar violence, be expanded to all major riots that have taken place in the first 18 months of Akhilesh Yadav's government.

The petitioner alleged that there had been “partisan” and “ineffective action” by the State and its officials in the various communal riots in Mathura, Pratapgarh, Bareilly, Lucknow, Allahabad, Ghaziabad, Faizabad, Azamgarh to Meerut and Amethi. “The action and policy of the State government and its officials has been such that it shows a definite tilt towards a particular sect and the administration shied away from taking action against culprits of that particular sect,” the petitioner said. This has resulted in a sense of mistrust in members of the other community, including the petitioner, she added. The petition calls for an effective and unbiased CBI enquiry in each of these cases just like Gujarat riots.